July 9, 2008

A ‘Front Yard’ in Need of Repair

The National Mall is that magnificent green sweep in Washington, D.C., that stretches just over two miles from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol on one axis and from the White House to the Jefferson Memorial on the other.

With the monuments and the parade of great museums on either side it is overwhelming. It is also getting shabby and rundown. The National Park Service says there is $350 million backlog of deferred maintenance.

Casual visitors are so taken by the vistas that they don't notice the cracked sidewalks, the grass worn down to the dirt, the suspect look of the water in the Reflecting Pool, the broken light fixtures, the sinking containment wall around the Tidal Basin.

A House Appropriations subcommittee has recommended spending the $100 million necessary for the immediate needs.

We really have to do better by the Mall. It is, after all, fairly described as "America's front yard."

Originally published by Rocky Mountain News.

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